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Feature Article of Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Columnist: Hayford, Kwesi Atta-Krufi

Mills drives the final nail in his own government’s coffin

…..he calls his government “irresponsible” and “criminally minded”

President Mills has finally confirmed what we have known over the last three years, that his own government is criminally minded and irresponsible. From his 100 days’ debacle and throughout his fumbling three years as the chief executive of the NDC government, the President has finally come to terms with the summary report of his own administration-“criminally minded” and “irresponsible”. On Monday, 9th January, faced with the barrage of questions from the team of editors and senior journalists in his own backyard, the Osu castle, the President buckled under pressure to admit that his government has been irresponsible in their stewardship of our public purse.

Answering questions about why GHC58million was paid to Alfred Woyome, the President said he cannot be so irresponsible to direct his Finance Minister to pay such a whopping amount of money to one person while the masses suffer due to inadequate infrastructure and basic amenities. “...when I know the plight of our people, when I know our people are crying for water, the basic necessities of life, how can I be so criminally-minded, so irresponsible to say give 58 million to one person.”

By this admission, the Professor President has confirmed in his own estimation that the payment of the money was “irresponsible”. Again he has confirmed that under his BETTER GHANA “the masses suffer due to inadequate infrastructure and basic amenities”. He has also confirmed that payment of such money was “criminally minded”

However what the honourable professor could not deny was the fact that such payment has been made to a single individual called Woyome and that the payment was made by the instructions of someone in his administration. Audit trail points to a chain of communication between the (then) Attorney General, Mrs. Betty Mould, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor and the Chief of Staff, Martey Newman. All these ministers who according to the President have been “criminal, irresponsible and at the height of naivety” in paying Woyome this whopping amount are still holding on to their jobs. They are still hired and relied upon by the President, so what does that make the President and his government? What is even more intriguing is the fact the old law professor could not fathom the legal thought that those payments, at least GHC41million of the GHC58million was paid in contempt of court order.

From an abysmal performance of the President’s administration by failing to meet any of the pledges and promises made in his “action year” 2011, the President begins 2012 with this cataclysmic performance at his Editor’s Forum. The visibly tired President was left with taunting the public about his health, which he knows is a no go area for anyone. Finally admitting the humiliation of the STX housing failure, the President capped this by asking for “an opportunity” to build bridges with is party’s founder and one time mentor. If the President is talking about forgiveness, I think he rather has to appeal to Ghanaians to forgive him for his failed promises and his bad leadership. The tongue-in-cheek President describes Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah’s criticism of his administration as “insults” and then plays God to forgive him while he meekly cautions his functionaries to “measure their language”. This is hypocrisy of the highest order. If the President finds my last sentence an insult, then “Mr. President I don’t need your forgiveness”

Finally, Woyome’s criminal and irresponsible money is recoverable in law, at least the GHC41million which was paid in the second and third tranches, including interest. This is because after the first tranche GHC17million was paid, the court granted a stay of execution, meaning no more of the tranches should have been paid. However in contempt of the stay of execution, our Chief Legal Advisor Betty Mould and her “private financier” Kwabena Duffuor (since he does no longer require the President’s authority to pay) decided to flout the court order to pay Woyome. That money was paid illegally and therefore future NPP must be able to recover that money. The two ministers can be tried for contempt of court and Woyome for fraudulently receiving. This simple legal tutorial will be too complicated for the NDC legal team.

Kwesi Atta-Krufi Hayford

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